Who remembers Gok Wan’s Fashion Fix? The show on TV that encouraged women to embrace a capsule wardrobe. Back then it was a revolution to many a morning woes.
The idea is to raid your closet and take away unimportant items. You want clothing that works together, easy to mix and match, and goes with your lifestyle routine. While there is no magic number, Caroline Rector – a fashion blogger who created her own capsule wardrobe back in 2014, suggests to ‘aim for 50 or few pieces’.
With fast fashion now in favour, social media has taken away the magic of minimalism. Celebrities don’t wear the same clothing twice – a concept drizzled down to influencers and those who uploads daily photos.
It’s this fear within us – ‘we are no longer fashionable’ or, ‘I don’t want to look like I don’t have clothes’.
Repetition felt uncool
Growing up, some of you will know that I had terrible insecurity. And I was constantly compared to my sister who was very into fashion and shopping – her confident personality portrayed that she was a guru to it all. I wilfully fell in the background.
Comments such as: “You will be easier to shop for, first dress and you’ll like it”, “It’s funny how different you and your sister are. You’re not into clothes are you?”
My sister herself lapped it up: “Let’s be honest, I am the one who is good for fashion and you know makeup”, “I have a better fashion sense so I will tell you what to buy”.
Those comments in consistency, further added to my low self-esteem. I was just constantly trying to emulate someone else – celebrity or ‘fashionable’ friend.
After a year of my Instagram focusing on fitness, I decided to show more photos non-related. I felt tremendous pressure to not upload a photo with any pieces the same. This includes jeans and trainers. I took some of my mum’s old tops for selfies and got out clothing that was stored away or used for a ‘lounge day’. I also checked the sales and did whatever I could to post a daily photo in something new.
There are certain shades of limelight that can wreck a girl’s complexion – Audrey Hepburn – Holly Golightly
And I still felt that my choices were bad and no one would ever think to admire my style.
Then the moment came. Updating my blog layout and branding my image, I scrolled back to my previous photos. The majority were absolutely meaningless. Likewise, the outfits the same. They didn’t represent me or my look, and I don’t want to continue the pressure of not wearing pieces twice.
Why a capsule wardrobe?
It’s back in fashion and perhaps a spring clean to our obsessive need for clothes. Unlike before, this time the rules appear more relaxed; you have freedom to choose.
A capsule wardrobe can:
- Help you figure out your look
- Create more positive outfit days
- Save the environment – fast fashion is highly damaging
- Reduce outfit stress
- Potentially save money
With that being said, here is how to organise one:
If you are cutting back, it makes perfect sense to source inspiration. You want to make sure that you keep everything worthwhile. Mahalakshmi from the blog: Melange of Words, put together a fantastic post on: How to create a mood board.
I have one that inspires my blog, social media and closet. I sent to my friend and they replied: “Oh, you’re really influenced by 60’s glamour”.
Can I tell you the craziest thing – I was keeping clothes purely because I haven’t worn them a lot or there’s no photographs of me in them.
Surely, I should remove them, as there’s a reason that they are not in photos.
I have cut down on my clothes, though I took baby steps. I am still not there and this weekend, I will let go of more – I’m looking at you white tops.
For a capsule wardrobe, you have to look at pieces and honestly ask:
- Do I like this enough to wear soon?
- Does it go with other items in my closet?
Removing clothes from your closet is hard at first – hang in there – the after effects are super rewarding. If they are in good condition, it’s nice to donate and know that someone will appreciate.
Mix and Match
There’s no point having a pair of neon trousers if you don’t have anything for them to go with. A good way of knowing what’s worth keeping and what’s not, is to put together various outfit combinations. If you need inspiration, I love Jasmin’s 10 x 10 outfit challenge.
A capsule wardrobe won’t work, if you have all sorts of pieces that don’t mush into outfits together.
Fashion is all about happiness. It’s fun. It’s important. But it’s not medicine – Donatella Versace
Write what you need
We all know about basics – a good jacket, jumper, neutral tops etc. Basics that you will wear numerously.
With spring and summer looming, we most-likely are considering a shopping trip. We often think about individual things. As an example, you’re shopping and you say – I love this skirt, I need summer clothes – I love these wedges – I need summer clothes – a yellow top – I need summer clothes.
Leading you to bulk buy and just pray that it works out in the wardrobe. I find with a capsule wardrobe, you want to ask yourself what’s missing.
For me, my list involves:
- Another pair of cropped trousers
- 2 skirts (day and evening)
- Maxi dress
- A couple of summary tops – sleeveless
Then choose price
Ideally, with less clothes buying, you can invest in quality. Equally, decide what’s worth the investment. I would rather spend more on a pair of cropped trousers that I will keep wearing, instead of summary tops that will last a couple of months.
A capsule wardrobe = mindfulness
Ultimately, a capsule wardrobe forces you to think. Have you ever always wanted to look a certain way or have a certain piece, yet keep shopping and not buy it?
How many times I tell myself that I will buy a jumper similar to Audrey’s in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I go out and choose the opposite.
When declutter and limit the belief to keep spending, you evaluate what’s worthwhile. All clothes add up – including fast fashion.
And what we all forget, is that style icons are not known collectively. If Audrey Hepburn is your style icon – you say – black dresses, cropped trousers, trench coats. If it’s Mary-Kate and Ashley, you picture bold, luxurious clothing that is hard to pull off.
You don’t know or recall every item of clothing. If an outfit looks good, you focus on the outfit as a whole.
My only competition is me. Therefore, I can always win and never lose – The Style of Laura Jane
What are your thoughts on a capsule wardrobe? I would love to know if you have any tips or whether you prefer the idea of fast fashion and a lot of clothing. This is my Instagram.
If you loved this post, read: Classic Style: Make Your Wardrobe Timeless